On Tuesday 12th October 2021, Lawrence Tweyanze the new Masaka High Court Judge declined to give out bail for opposition members of parliament Mr. Allan Ssewanyana and Mr. Muhammad Ssegirinya.
The two MPs are now faced with four criminal charges of murder, and one of attempted murder, taking part in terrorism, and all these are related to the recent Masaka Sub-region killings.
The Masaka High Court registrar, Agnes Nkonge who later on told one of the defence lawyers that she was asked by her superiors to allocate the file to Justice Tweyanze who is supposed to report on October 18th.
He later on added and said that after talking to the judge, he said he cannot handle that matter when his colleague had already started on it.
This case was first handled by High Court judge, Victoria Nakintu who later on referred the matter to the Principal Judge, Dr Flavian Zeija, over unknown reasons and the defense lawyers were asked to return on Monday October 11 to know the judge who will handle the second bail application of their clients.
The legislators listed 11 grounds for their release including suffering from grave illness, inadequate medical treatment and attention while in prison, having fixed places of abode, and willingness to abide by the bail terms, among others.
The right to bail is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 23 (6) of the 1995 Ugandan Constitution that states: ‘‘Where a person is arrested in respect of a criminal offence. The person is entitled to apply to the court to be released on bail, and the court may grant that person bail on such conditions as the court considers reasonable.’’
One of the MPs’ lawyers, Mr. Musa Matovu said they will seek justice from the Court of Appeal in Kampala if the Masaka Court fails to handle the fresh application for bail.